DIY Stair Reveal

May 15, 2013

I'm not sure why I can finish some projects so quickly and other ones just seem to drag out forever. I won't make a list for you, but I'm sure if you follow my blog you know which ones I'm talking about. I've been painting the stairs for months now and living with painters tape on them that long, too. I was so thrilled to take off the tape this morning only to discover I need to do some major touch-ups. Awesome. Mostly they are just white splatters on the black treads that I thought was dust while painting the risers. But, if you don't stand too close it looks fine and they aren't so bad I need to break out the tape again. Here is the before and after with a recap.


Dirty, dirty, dirty. What you can't see is the seams of the berber carpet coming unraveled. I did not want to put down carpet again because I knew it wouldn't last long, but after a $2000 quote for wood stairs to be installed I wasn't sure if I had another option.


I think it was the day before Christmas Eve that my husband and I decided to rip up the carpet on a whim and attempt to DIY this ourselves. We weren't exactly sure how we were going to accomplish it, but the carpet was going to be ripped up no matter what so we didn't have much to lose. After seeing what was under that carpet, I would rather live on the wood subfloor. I'll spare you the details.

This post explains how we covered up our old stairs with new treads and risers instead of replacing them. I haven't seen anyone do it this way before. My husband said it couldn't be done this way because the wood wouldn't match up right and went to sit on the sofa to watch golf, but I just kept playing around with the wood until I figured it out. I just knew there had to be a way to cover the old stairs up instead of replacing them and I found one by using shims between the new and old staircase to make it come together correctly.


Now, the painting is what gave me headaches. I thought I was so clever painting every other step, but I have three kids and a new puppy that don't quite understand (or forget) to walk on every other stair. Actually, my husband was guilty of this too and ended up with a black foot once. Since I used oil based paint it takes two days to completely cure. If I had used latex I could have done it at night and it would have been dry by morning. Do I regret using an oil-based enamel paint? No way! Even after a couple of months of heavy wear I don't even have one scratch. Scratches were my biggest fear painting these black. I had even planned on making a runner to protect the paint as soon as possible. I'm so glad scratches aren't an issue since we'll be rug-free until my puppy is completely housebroken. The daily dust that accumulates on the stairs is the biggest issue, but at least it can be cleaned unlike my old carpet.

Here's a before of the before picture.

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And, the after.

This house has come a long way!


  1. Looks awesome! You guys did a wonderful job!

  2. Oh my gosh, so worth the wait!!! That looks gorgeous. I so hear you about projects that go on and on. And on! You guys did a great job. I would love to tear out all the carpet in our house including the stairs, but I don't think that will happen any time soon. I will live vicariously through your pictures until then. :)

  3. SO PERFECT!!! It really has come SO far, and looks totally amazing!!

  4. They look stunning! I love the black and white combo so stylish! But I can also see all the work you have been doing around, all the trim looks beautiful too!

  5. This is beautiful! And I'm inspired to do the same in our house after getting a crazy expensive quote on what new carpet would cost! My question is: did you have to put in new wood treads and risers? Would it have been possible to paint over what you had?

  6. Gorgeous! What color gray? I've been fighting a gray choice for months. :)

  7. Sorry, one more question: Can you tell me the brand and color of stain/paint you used?

  8. Your stairs look amazing what a difference, you did a fantastic job (I found your site via Hooked on Houses)

  9. LOVE This! This is what I want to do with our living room steps too. We have two dogs, so trying to keep up with the hair etc. is tough with carpeting. And I find I slip off the carpeted steps much more than non-carpeted. We had hardwood in our former home...{sigh...I miss it}.

    (visiting from Hooked on Houses)

  10. What brand and color of paint did you use on the walls? Your stairs are BEAUTIFUL. Hoping to talk my hubby into doing the same. Your post is great inspiration.

  11. What color and brand is on the walls?

  12. Gorgeous! Would love to know the color on the walls?